Guest Lecture: From Tranquility(ji 寂) to Illumination (zhao 照): The Jizhao Temple in the Context of Social Changes in Dali Prefecture

From Tranquility (ji 寂) to Illumination(zhao 照): The Jizhao Temple in the Context of Social Changes in the Dali Prefecture

XUAN Fang, Academy for Advanced study of Religion, RUC

When: Thursday October 4, 2018

Time: 4pm

Venue: Asian Studies Auditorium

Sponsor: The Glorisun Network for Buddhist Studies

Abstract

The Jizhao temple, which means tranquility and illumination, is located in Mount Cangshan of Dali Prefecture. It was established in the early years of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was rebuilt in 1919 by the Yunnan Governor Tang Jiyao. Its status as a Buddhist temple resumed in the early 1980s, when it changed from a monastery into a nunnery. Since then, it remains in tranquility and silence as its name implies. Meanwhile, with the vigorous growth of mobile internet and we-media, it has suddenly become an internet sensation almost overnight and was titled “the most beautiful nunnery”, and “the best temple of petty bourgeoisie taste”. Based on interviews with the abbot of Jizhao temple, Ven. Miaohui, and from speaking with lay Buddhists and some other local senior monks, this article tries to sketch out the process of its transformation, sociocultural contexts and subsequent effects as well.

The speech looks back to four relating sociocultural factors in historical order: first, the common cultural memory of local people who cherish Cangshan mountain and the temples around it as the soul of local culture; second, the romantic imagination constructed by popular novels and mass media about Dali Buddhism, which in turn reshaped the recovery process of local temples; third, the utopic fantasy of reclusive hermits beyond the state control, held by immigratory artists and dissidents; and fourth, the changed religious ecologic pattern with the large influx of new Buddhist residents, driven by the apocalyptic prophecy of a famous monk. Although all above factors contribute to the sudden fame of Jizhao Temple, two key events should be emphasized: the temple’s elaborate reconstruction in 2012 and the subsequent voluntary advertisement through we-media, which exposed this small nunnery to the whole country in an explosive style. This sudden exposure through mobile internet changed the Jizhao Temple in many ways and subsequently brought out many unexpected effects.

This presentation ends with a reflective discussion on the tension between the multiplicity of objectification and subjectivity of the Jizhao Temple as well as the self-identity of the nuns who reside there.

由寂而照: 社会变迁中的大理寂照庵

中国人民大学佛教与在教学理论研究所  宣方

内容提要

大理苍山寂照庵始建于明初,后被毁,1919年重建,1980年代初期恢复成为宗教场所,并转变成为比丘尼道场。恢复后的三十几年,绝大多数时间它都和之前数百年间一样籍籍无名,直到最近几年,因为移动互联网和自媒体的兴起,几乎在一夜之间从人迹罕至变成门庭若市,成为网红寺院,被誉为“”中国最美的尼寺“、“最文青的寺院”等。本文通过对寂照庵住持妙慧法师、相关居士和大理佛教界其他资深人士的访谈,勾勒了1980年代以来寂照庵的文化变迁过程、这种变迁发生的社会文化背景及其产生的一系列效应。

大理被称历史学家为“亚洲文化十字路口的古都”,佛教文化积淀深厚,古称妙香佛国,大理国时期有九位皇帝出家。降及明代,大理尤其是苍山诸寺仍是云南佛教的重镇,紧邻寂照庵的感通寺被誉为当时滇中首刹,明清以来云南佛教的灵魂人物——担当法师的舍利塔也安置于此。1919年唐继尧重建寂照庵,也印证了苍山佛教在云南本土精英心目中的地位。

但同时,云南地处西南边陲,经济落后,交通不发达的大理更是如此。因此,后“文革”时期特别是1980年代,大理佛教刚开始恢复时,虽然佛教有着良好的信众基础,但各个寺庙的重建依然举步维艰。1980年代初,以落实戒律和佛教界领导层关于男女别住的要求为契机,“文革”以来合住在感通寺的比丘尼被迁出,入住破烂不堪、用作仓库的寂照庵。寺众的经济来源局促,日常生活艰难。

1980年代中后期,香港作家金庸武侠小说的引进和风靡,特别是相关影视作品的流行,构建了大众传媒中关于大理佛教乃至传统佛教的浪漫想象,并惠及大理佛教的实际重建进程。但影响所及,主要是大理本地的著名大寺院,包括与寂照庵近在咫尺的感通寺。

1990年代以后,迁居大理的外来文艺青年、艺术家乃至异议人士越来越多,苍山中游客不多的寺院成为他们对山林隐逸传统的心里投射,方外之人的形象成为他们身处江湖睥睨庙堂的自我认知的一部分,但这类设定需要的风雅、趣味,使得他们更青睐无为寺这样的寺院,而寂照庵这类卑微的尼寺仅仅是一个偶尔涉足的场域而已。

2008年至2011年期间,受一位著名的当代佛教法师的末日观影响,许多外地佛教徒移居大理。他们以自建的寺院、书院、民办学校、素餐馆等,形成自成一体的文化网络,并积极向外拓展,在一定程度上重构了当地佛教生态,例如遍布苍山、鸡足山野外的念佛机。

上述四层背景叠合在一起,都对寂照庵兴起产生了各自影响:第一层当地居民的文化记忆,构成本地普通信众始终护持寂照庵、文化精英关注寂照庵、社会民众游览寂照庵的心理背景,即使在旅游业不发达的1980年代初期也是如此;第二层大众传媒构造的文化想象,成为外地普通游客开始踏访寂照庵的心理驱动;第三层方外之地/世外桃源的想象,则是在地化的外来文艺青年和文化精英探访和叙述寂照庵的心理动机;第四层外来信众的迁入,特别是他们对大理素食文化圈的建构,客观上促进了逐渐以免费素食闻名的寂照庵的知名度。

但所有这一切,都不如商业化时代的自媒体对于寂照庵形象的提升和重塑来的迅猛。对于寂照庵形象重构和可见度有决定性意义的事件有二:一是2012年秋季,一位外地设计师免费帮寂照庵设计重修,使它有了更为素朴清新的文艺范,受到游客们的喜爱;二是2016年以来一些自媒体对于寂照庵的宣传,令其几乎一夜之间成为网红寺院,特别是“一条视频”所拍摄的四分多钟的短片,浏览量达到844万,即使是“一手video”最近跟风拍摄的一分钟短片,浏览量也已经达到198万。骤然而至的网络曝光迅猛粗暴地改变了寂照庵的生态:如今普通一天的访客数量,远远超过过去一年的总和。以前寺里素食免费,也只有三五个人光顾,现在需要支付二十元,还得排队等候半小时甚至更长时间。去寂照庵吃素,欣赏遍满寺院、品种繁多的多肉植物,似乎成了“小众”游客游苍山的标配。

曾经沉寂的小寺院骤然间被聚光灯照亮,随之而来的一切都发生改变。一度只有住持妙慧法师一人的小寺院,现在已有五六位出家人和七八位常住寺院的居士。曾经为生计发愁的寂照庵,现在生存已不是问题,但巨大的客流量并没有带来相应规模的供养等经济收入,反而因游客太多改变了寺院原来的幽静氛围。现在住持最头疼的,是她十分喜爱的多肉植物等花卉不断被粗心的游客破坏,巨大人流带来的消防安全压力特别是防火问题也令她十分担心。

习惯了宁静生活的妙慧法师更深一层的烦恼是,如何在这样嘈杂的氛围中保持正常的宗教生活。她的应对之道是坚持每天四点多就起床,下午不到六点就早早关闭寺门。如何在改变了的氛围中弘扬佛法,也是她考虑的问题,为此她做出了扩建寺院等大胆尝试,但似乎并不成功。

寂照庵由寂而照的文化变迁,是当代中国许多佛教寺院命运的一个折射:只有当他们作为满足大众文化想象的客体被消费时,才会赢得程度不等的关注和观照,而他们自身的主体性始终不被信众以外的社会群体特别重视;与此同时,僧众仍然在坚持他们的宗教主体性和文化自主性。在寂照庵的个案中,妙慧法师坚持了四十年的宗教生活,上世纪八十年代还食不果腹,到了21世纪头十年,依然困窘到屋顶被寒风吹走,她始终选择坚持。那使寂照庵闻名天下的素斋和满院多肉植物,其实也是她自己多年的选择和坚持,并非为了迎合围观的目光。只是,她自己都不知道,未来的寂照庵将会如何。

 

About the Speaker:

Prof. Fang Xuan is a research fellow in the Institute for Advanced Studies in Religion, Renmin University of China, as well as the executive member of Journal of Religion. His main academic interests focuses on Chinese Buddhist meditative tradition and Modern Chinese Buddhism,particularly Humanistic Buddhism(Renjian fojiao), in which fields he published a book and more 40 articles including :

——《汉魏两晋禅学研究》(A Study of the Theory and Practice of Buddhist meditation in Han, Wei and Jin Dynasty),

——《鸠摩罗什所译禅经考辨》(A Critical Examination to the Meditative Scriptures Contributed to Kumarajiva’s Translation),

——《支遁:禅学史肖像的重塑》(Repainting the Portrait of Zhidun in Buddhist Meditative History)

——《人间正道是沧桑——后印顺时代的台湾人间佛教》(Humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan at the Post-Yinshun Age)

——《作为方法的印顺——问题意识、诠释效应及其它》(Yinshun As Methodology: Problematique,Hermeneutic Effects and Else)

——《人间佛教理论的形成与完善:从太虚到印顺》(The formation and improvement of the theory of Humanistic Buddhism: from Taixu to Yinshun)

He is also the guest professor of many Buddhist academic institutes such as Institute of Chinese Buddhist Culture, Institute of Peking Buddhist Culture, Peking University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Xiamen University, Yunnan University.